Dear Dr. Darcy:
I am a college freshman and found myself questioning my sexuality at the beginning of high school. I did this because I found females very attractive. I never looked at a random guy on the street and thought that he was hot, rather I would do this with women. I had boyfriends throughout high school to try and convince myself that I was straight. And then what happened my junior year changed everything.
I became really close with this girl. I started to fall for her half way through my junior year. Senior year, my feelings for her got more intense each week to where I was in love with my best friend (who is 100% straight and always had a boyfriend throughout our friendship). We became so close that people at school thought we were a couple. We held hands, hugged a lot, cuddled, did everything together, and always kissed each other on the cheek with the occasional peck on the lips. I was so confused that she was all I could think of and just assumed that I was a lesbian….Eventually [she] broke my heart.
It was the summer before college and all I wanted to do was to see her. I was planning on seeing her the week before I went away to school, but she didn't want to see me. She didn't answer when I called and didn't text me back. When I finally got a hold of her, she said that she was busy and I thought that she would want to see her best friend one more time, but I was wrong which completely broke me. I was going to tell her that I was in love with her, but never got a chance and never got closure. When I moved into college, she made no effort to contact me at all which broke my heart. It felt like I was losing a piece of me. I cried almost everyday about this... It has been about 6 months and I find myself still thinking about her a lot. I think my feelings for her have died down a lot but I'm still so confused about my sexual orientation.
Do I need closure from her to move on? And do you think I am a lesbian just because I was so in love with this girl?
This is tricky. Relationships between women are, generally speaking, more intense than relationship between opposite sex people or between 2 males. And that doesn’t even take into account your age…
Children and teens bond to best friends with an intensity that is rarely replicated in adulthood. Much of this is due to the adolescent stage of development in which the peer group replaces the family as the most significant attachment in the teenager’s life. And again, you were 2 girls, rendering the attachment likely to be more intense than it would be if you were 2 boys or a boy and a girl.
With that said, throughout your life you’ve consistently been attracted to girls to the exclusion of boys, which by my definition meets criteria of being, well, a lesbian. Still, if you haven’t yet hooked up with a girl, I’d suggest doing so before you slap a label on your self.
As far as closure is concerned, I don’t think anyone can give us that other than ourselves. You need to find a way to move on without her participation. You said it yourself: She’s straight. Even if you were to disclose your feelings to her, you’d be setting yourself up for rejection. The person you need to process this with is not the former best friend, but a therapist. You deserve to be assured that your feelings will be safeguarded and that you’ll be guided through your grief with dignity and care. That’s not something she can do for you. She’s a kid herself. Email me and I’ll be happy to send you some names.
Writer's Stats: Female, Lesbian?